Skip to main content

About this Show

Book Discussion on Maxed Out

Series/Special. Katrina Alcorn discusses 'Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink.' (Stereo)

NETWORK

DURATION
00:46:00

RATING
TV-MA

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v109

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 4, Downers 1, Uc 1, Howard Hughes 1, Martha 1, Aaron 1, Napoleon 1, Everyone America 1, Onyx 1, Wyatt Earp 1, Baidu 1, Cisco 1, Broca 1, Yvette 1, Brendon 1, U.k. 1, Canada 1, Kansas City 1, U.s. 1, Tertiaries 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Book Discussion on Maxed Out    Series/Special. Katrina Alcorn discusses  
   'Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink.' (Stereo)  

    December 8, 2013
    1:00 - 1:46am EST  

1:00am
writing stories about mining and printing them in local newspapers and that sort of thing. they had a column in the local paper for quite a long time. anyhow, that is what made me start writing about wyatt earp. i heard heard the story that he was here people who have built our history, they dealt us and i think it's important to remember our history because if you don't have history, what do you have? there is nothing, just a bunch of people. ..
1:01am
>> what i thought i would do is i have three short excerpts to read tonight. then we could have a little discussion and sign books.
1:02am
has anyone actually read the book yet? some people are still working on into. just to give some context the format is unusual. it is the category stretcher basically written prayer merely as a memoir and a very personal story about my experience trying everything i could possibly fate of and how i completely failed and how i tried to make sense of that failure to put it into a bigger context and the idea for turning this into a book when i started to hear stories from other brendon that were eerily similar about birding out and i realize how "maxed out" we
1:03am
all are and i wanted to industry and in a bigger way. and i try to include a little essay from that chapter and i will share one of those tonight. i guess where i would like to start is in the middle. i have a baby girl and a stepdaughter to is a toddler and i started a big management job at a consulting firm in super cisco. i was wracked with guilt and struggling almost from the get-go. but over the years i figure darrell i thought i had figured it out to put my guilt in a box and took
1:04am
class is on the anxiety management and then i had another baby. this takes place after i return from maternity leave with an older kid and a young babies live happily working four days a week i had one more child dead when they worked five days. we were moving as fast as we could be yes certain tasks were still not getting done. jake was behind on his immunizations and i needed a new class as we were all overdue for a trip to the dentist. there is a school play the same day as the parent teacher conference. when presuppose to make time for the of living a normal life but it did not fit into our normal life?
1:05am
then every had to refinance the mortgage and pick up dry cleaning or get the wailes change, organized family photos come again stamps, a tax is ready, but rsvp for other parties, a birthday parties and shop around for insurance and stocks the earthquake kits and take caribe tuzes live lessons and poison the dance, by a raincoat, return overdue library books come in fast fast, chaperoned the field trip and pay the bills. add to that the obligations that fell outside of work hours. it dinner and schmoozing and out-of-town clients and conferences and networking events and launch party some that we hosted at our office.
1:06am
in to there was negotiating contracts. and countless other business related task for which he did not get paid. it was our job to plan and execute difficult projects. in a day, did to fix our problem but each sunday night after the kids went to bet brian and i will sit at the table to create the plan for the week. everything that needed to get done and decided which was top priority ian made in an elaborate spreadsheet that divided each day of the week in to 30 bid increments.
1:07am
and every drop-off and pick-up or pressure shopping trip and weekly torah and then expected to run early or start late networking events included the importance leven's like the science fair or the art show. kid rescheduled time to work out and see friends. fifth it even included time to create the next week's scheduled to people out of one half-hour slot and color-coded by category of work or kids impersonal and took the path of the refrigerator. the which filled me with the odd mixture of hope. i can do it all but not one moment to spare. on paper there was time for everything as long as nothing went wrong but of course, things did.
1:08am
lead car got a flat to of a friend called for a favored word though the water heater broca of flooded the floor with the isfahan happened it is like the butterfly yvette. is set off a chain of events setting awful whole schedule. but if one got sick all of us would then we would be stuck in the house missing sleep and school aaron to work in getting bored off of speeto cartoons. everything humanly possible. reject a legal titans. at the slightest hint of the cold idle doubt herbal remedies and homeopathic remedies that promise to boost abuse system was.
1:09am
hawaiian entire shelf in the kitchen was devoted to packets of the emergency and plastic tubes of airborne and stuff that i could not pronounce and still cannot. we avoided sugar because i heard that note -- compromises the been system and a whole grain bread and i sprinkled through mersey's on the kids' yogurt and for special treat i would let them collect though white powder office boom. we would cancel play dates if anybody says throat hurt or if they felt forum. every working parent we knew was terrified of terms. we washed our hands as if we had o cd gent then reverted
1:10am
kerry antibacterial wipes in my purse i would look at every doorknob with suspicion and i played flush public toilets with great peaked. i was worse than howard hughes but yet after jake started day care in the returned to work we got sick and sick again. chest colds and onyx played beavers' lasting five days. rashes on their bellies and under their arms then faded away. head lice that may only in fact, one child but required to treat everyone in the family and wash every sheet and towel and blankets in the house. once martha got a stomach flu in the middle of the night did i apologize but she did not get any farther than the top rung of herb on
1:11am
a bet and vomited somehow managing to hit all four walls of her bedroom. really. it could not have been easy. elastic she had eaten thought was an entire point of strawberries. it looked as if the dying and all had run around the in will bleeding on every surface. bronchitis. said disinfection. pinkeye. walking pneumonia. asthma attacks, struck throat. whooping cough? the disease was eradicated in the 1940's? yes. both boys got it that even earn a free house call from centers from the us seat -- nurses from the cdc and shutdown day care for one weeks and even after he was well enough to go back he could not.
1:12am
him in three months we missed us 10 days of work if the rest of the year was like the rest of it we would miss 40 days. and it was generous considering half of american workers don't have any but it was not close to covering all the day's one of the kids was six -- six. have vacation time they did the professional development days of school holidays and the children get. the pediatrician and i ask for it bystander she had seen it all and i trusted her. baidu we keep getting sick i asked during one of our many visits? what are redoing wrong?
1:13am
this is normal she said as she said on average they get between eight and 10 calls per year. eight per year? per child? it was absurd but yet consistent with everything we had experienced when we got home we did the math. on average your kid has to be home from school one day per illness others could not out your kid for a week that is nine days per kid per year. but if you have two kids and 960 dash six days overlap then an average of 13 or 14 days off per year to be home with a sick kid. of course, it does not
1:14am
include the days when the parent is sick and no matter how many smithies you drink for a breakfast you're bound to get whatever is keeping him awake my rule was to never take a sick day for myself a masai was rolling up my sniffles carter's some sympathy or this the guy from others why do expose us to your germs they wanted to say and i wanted to reply i cannot afford to take a sick day. this was a silent conversation we carried out time and time again. often when one of the kids was sec i would work from home. but it sucks to field conference calls on you while your child is on the couch to feel that you neglect your child but yet
1:15am
you feel you leave -- let down your co-workers. i will stop there. sickness is when dawn. other things happened. i would like to read a sidebar because we are in silicon valley i'd like to read about productivity. this is an industry issue particularly in financial firms all across silicon valley in digital agencies there is a cold of sacrifice a cultural exhortation written beyond a the handbook you will work -- work very long hours and it is stupid because research shows it is stupid jedi will
1:16am
read it why. so let's all work a 30 hour week. >> i notice that morning work meetings my colleagues tend to be more attentive to get more done as the day wears on they become less productive than their bread is story that describes the phenomenon it showcasing their research proving that long hours killed profit and productivity and employees. since your boss probably has not read the story chintzes are you are still stalked like so many working 50 hours a week in since that
1:17am
leaves you very little time to read anything except the book i will share the highlights. most people assume if you increase the hours by 50 percent you get 50 percent more done. not true. studies show for industrial workers productivity dramatically decreases after eight hours per day. knowledge workers have all these six good hours of productivity per day after that we are done. studies show pushing companies reduce workers' hours back down net 40 the businesses become significantly more productive and unprofitable. sometimes there are short-term gains when people work 60 or 70 hours per week however as the article points out the risk of burning out begins after one week. this is also a quotation
1:18am
without adequate rest, a recreation nutrition and time off to just be people get dole and stupid and cannot focus in spend more time answering e-mail id to free office and working. did make mistakes they would never make defrosted and fixing those takes longer because they are fried. some software teams go into indicative progress where they lose rhode toch wheat after a week because they're so mentally exhausted they make more errors than they can fix. despite 150 years of research through the long hours as bad for everyone america still works the space hours of in the country in the industrialized world. shouldn't we know better? liz is blamed on a culture problem by anti-social workaholic software
1:19am
programmers from silicon valley who propels for their passion invade not working on the weekend old-fashioned but that we can now works this way. that negative productivity mode. explain that to your boss. , one of the reasons i wrote the book and why i felt my story had something to contribute is because i felt there is the inordinate amount of discussion and putt on women's personal choices. i think whenever the conversation comes up about how they get all or optic out over witted id poverty it comes back to reduce your choice to work or not to.
1:20am
i stake what we miss it is a public health issue hopefully by the end of the books you have readied of research to see that the u.s. has a terrible lack of support for working families at the bottom of the list of developed countries along with a culture problem. but it's i would like to read the last excerpt from late in the book that starts when i stopped working. >> i wish i could say i quit my job and took a few weeks to recuperate but emerged refreshed to embrace a new chapter if i had quit seven months are the that might have happened. maybe if i hit the reset
1:21am
button before the winter before to very difficult clients out work, maybe i would have quietly stepped away like so on the other bombs that i do. but this is what happened instead. the first few days i cried constantly had woken up to the middle of the night shaky with the heart pounding and able to go back to sleep. i imagine myself like a car that ran out of gas and needed to refuel the days turned into weeks. i was not getting better. i ran at of gas and oil the internal machinery had ground against itself.
1:22am
smoke would have been lowdown and i continue to cry on the couch sometimes i would move to my bet where though i could see the leaves of the palm tree where the pri and blue the underside looked sulfur blue like watching a goldfish swim big never going anywhere. every few hours he takes the break to save reassuring figures like you are hauled. you just need a long rest he would say over and over. he was remarkably upbeat considering his wife had just lost her mind. the tension that had grown be treated as had evaporated. there was nothing to fight about as if he was expecting
1:23am
this. now that i've finally collapsed it was a relief. now there was something he could do like take care of the kids. i had years and took four years have more time with my children now i have tied be around them was the target i felt as if might years would lead from their shrieks and happy squeals. i never stopped to love them but all i wanted was to lie down alone of silence. i appointed a sensory deprivation tanks was no light or doze sound area so quiet that silence itself became the noise. i would like there and tell every thought stock to a bias and relaxed as a noodle and still i would not move.
1:24am
i would stay until i was bored. i haven't been boarded years and it sounded like a luxury i would go on blind until the arid landscape grew and started to read into the desert and the birds begin in a new song and i felt completely a whole and tubing and a live again. how long does that takes? abated appointed with a psychiatrist. i have not seen her in five years. this time i was not going to sign up for nt class's i wanted to be fixed once a and for all. i would to the doctor to pullout of high-tech vacuum cleaner to suck the misery
1:25am
out and that i want to drugs. the doctor looked exactly the same as every member of her with her hair to make up and down the asymmetrical days. after quickly listing my symptoms like a truck stop i got to the point. i am quitting my job i said. sorts of. i am on leave of absence because planting was seven months ago but then the economy changed anodize stayed and i got burned out. she nodded. yes. what is happening to be? and we have bigger breasts breakdown? i have not said the phrase out loud before but as soon
1:26am
as i did it sounded perfectly right to and strangely hopeful but yet temporary. something i would get through not live with. later i could see that also had a catharsis and act of like my spirit was going on and strike a constant mindless activity. we would not call it a breakdown. that is not a medical term. but would you call it? she looked down the back half the for fairview they have a depression mood disorder iran and anxiety disorder people who are depressed often have begs iadb you may have both. i have both? i did not like the sound of this.
1:27am
nervous breakdown reid at the excepted term but it described andy that she was describing a pathology and ran the index figure down the page how you feel about coming on anti-depressant? now we were getting somewhere. call it whatever she liked as long as she made it go way. willoughby feel better? and betty people find they are quite effective to relieve anxiety and depression. it reminded me of the disclaimer at the end of the drug commercial the individual results may vary. she had not as a bright question but what did i expect her to say? yes they will fix you write-up here. thank the doctor continued i have a powerful drug to treat those depressions and had anxiety unfortunately it
1:28am
takes to trade for a huge six weeks to start working. four or six weeks? she continued with the side effects of a tribe of, of, jack, headache, night sweats, anxiety. anxiety? did she really just say that? like telling a drowning person to take a big gulp of water. my eyes filled with tears. i don't know if i can do this. if i get any more age as i will call bust. >> we can start on a very low dose apparently i was not her craziest patient for you can work up to is a therapeutic dose slowly. , that will minimize the aside the fact the you'll not get the benefits of the full therapeutic dose every
1:29am
time she said that she would slow down and annunciate every word which made the thick of a catholic priest they keep this side of the across. i will write you a prescription and as wall. she went back to tie put up as if it was settled. of once you have adjusted you could go on the of their medication and i thought i got when i came for. she was right about the anxiety class and you knew what she was doing which they'd blend of us. when i got home i emptied my little white paper bag of medication on the kitchen table as if i was triggered trading. -- trek or treating. have uppers and downers.
1:30am
just like old is your just a sick puppy a butter and banana sandwich. >> i am fine now but i would not tell you what happens after that. said now is a good time to answer any questions at the betty may have. >> i am curious how your related -- or children related to you and how did you work through that part?
1:31am
>> when i first got to working and by the way i am working egad now. it is funny. the early days saugh -- for total crisis on the road i was not functional. his is amazing how the village appears we had no family around but suddenly by a nine dash was flying out and stayed with us for the first free can friends came out of the woodwork to take the kids on the weekend and i don't know that my kids noticed a lot. i would like to think it is a testament to how hard we were both trying to keep it together for them and something that is lost a lot that we are so busy working and raising families we
1:32am
don't realize how much it hurts to not take care of ourselves. >> i am a little surprised this has not generated a business opportunity to take care of "barron's"? >> get has. there is whole book about that. >> so if you have enough money you can hire somebody to go fix your car and get the laundry done the? >> pick up the tertiaries, by the mother's day cards a you did is amazing what you can pay for so you can work more but a lot of people cannot afford that.
1:33am
it is not a solution for most of society. >> most people are between a rock band of hard place as the sole source of health care insurance for your family but your kids would not get their shots. >> an excellent point*. i am not an advocate for women not working. i think when it works right from the families tend to be more stable when both parents can work or sego parents as the sole support. but i also think we have to recognize we cannot do everything without support. my story is one example but
1:34am
when you try to do everything you do you don't have reid of support. when i was sleep deprived coming back from maternity leave i needed to work classier that was not an option the. >> what did your bosses think of all of this? life fellow physicians have very generous maternity leave because we extract practically half of the wealth of society to finance that. [laughter] but in your field it is not possible to do that? >> garett is a silver lining the and i talk about it in the book. one ray of hope is that a program that stands for what
1:35am
results all the work could fire ripped a mitt strategy that they say forget about time or caulking in or out we are always available any way. who cares meetings are optional your sole job as the employee is we will hold you accountable to results. this turns the whole paradigm around that employees can work really good at their jobs effective a and efficient and are rewarded for that and people who were just a but in the chair 12 hours a day are no wonder rewarded for showing up end companies become more profitable. that is just one example but there is a lot to be gained
1:36am
for businesses to figure this out. we're not living in the 1950's model anymore in cannot assume there is in adults at home to take care of all the things and make room for people's lives and they will be loyal and productive workers if we figure that out. >> county bosses try to figure this out? >> i don't know how to answer that. to be the issue is people in management need to understand they are losing money by burning out their workers. that can be a hard case to make but if you look at the research it is true. uc companies with more women in leadership better able to retain women instead of pushing them out actually
1:37am
make higher profits than do better on the stock exchange then also the productivity where they had of those that have the same hours with unproductive people. >> is there a movement to under way? >> one thing that i agree with the book is to describe intimate details but my hope is when you finish reading the book you feel motivated to make changes -- changes in your life and society at large for karate and donating 10 percent of might proceeds to the company i have been plotting with and watching the work that they are doing as an advocacy organization that lobbies
1:38am
for things like paid maternity leave. the only developed country in the world that still does not provide this, that paid sick days, but also work culture change in didn't that is a big difference. that is just one example. thank you. >> i was reading this section where your talk about what is going on on the inside curses a exterior. and i love the idea and to where you got that or if you continue and to my other question is talk about writing this book and what the process was like. >> the first about inside and outside the piece where
1:39am
i ask women who i know personally, very well to describe court is really going on under the surface. i picked them because of the surface looked very together am professional and happy and have friends and kids doing great but one friend of mine to that was very close liaison on to talk about other rabid how they don't have money problems but yet her job board stagnate she has to remember not to compare herself because we don't know what goes on and so that is where the. the other part to draw
1:40am
righty the bookracks i say i quit my job but the truth is i went home sick used never went back. once i got off the couch to and could start eating and not crying every moment i needed something to do and i felt so terrible. i have heard this from livid over and over. it is such a calm down when you built your career and life around been capable said hit your live it that way. said good side ins to have the opportunity to new girl and to invite case there was a lot but that is all i did
1:41am
for them and started to perk up again and started to applaud period to fedex started to hear from women in every country like water mollah, but canada, u.k., every state, the every border and in every industry you could imagine said you could carr fit into the pot carefully ince now. >> i may have missed this but compared to what you have gone through, hard to
1:42am
gather the streak and courage to go back to work again? >> that is a great question and it is like falling off though horse because along for you don't get back god you will site yourself out. but employees ease bisulfide the way.
1:43am
there was not to killed in my career but still the my confidence and it was amazing at some point it took along triumphing the whole process but there was a point i realized i had my groove cpac. it does happen. >> with life kids -- i am more confidence anwr at its fees i feel like it is the right thing. i am not working right now and not in a hurry. is it something i imagine? rebekah i thank you need to listen to yourself. so many people tell women your life will be ruined if you do work for you don't work it is personal it sounds like you are doing
1:44am
the right thing. any other questions? day que. [applause] >> did a survey of major newspapers that kansas city star was raided more in favor of reform than all the major metropolitan newspapers in the united states combined. as bill said himself told the interviewer i don't want the editorials to be a lot
1:45am
of literary essay but i want them to get schaede this done. that rejected the notion he is a builder recall to his work rather than a man on horseback. to rival from africa the clubs would form like napoleon.